“A POTTED plant in the middle of a corridor” is how Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Vice-President and Artistic Director Chris B. Millado described the state of the 50-year-old institution, adding that the plant is “not for decor but to catch leaks from the ceiling.”

“The building is way past its prime,” Mr. Millado said, and that is why it has been undergoing a series of renovations since last year.

Aside from refurbishing its facilities, the CCP began its anniversary celebrations last year with events and projects such as the Sinag: Festival of Radiance, an anniversary gala concert, the launch of a commemorative stamp and a commemorative marker.

This year, the 50-year-old arts institution continues the celebration with more anniversary related projects and digital documentation.

One of its major projects is the launch the digital version of CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art in September (the physical encyclopedia was launched in November 2018). During a press conference in December, at the CCP, Mr. Millado noted that the information included in the physical copies end in 2015. The digital edition will allow for updating and documentation of information beyond 2015. It will be accessible in three forms: a subscription website, a mobile application, and a digital installation (touchscreen) at the CCP.

The digital edition will include images, audiovisual clips, and interactive features to enhance learning and engagement, content bookmarking, and reference citation.

“We are going to give this free to public schools and universities through their library system,” Mr. Millado said. He added that USBs of the digital version will be distributed to areas with less access to internet connectivity.

Aside from the digitized encyclopedia, there will be a digital time capsule which will be both a “physical and virtual structure” where guests can share their experiences and memories of art and culture at the CCP.

In August this year, a collection of rare digitized CCP performances from the CCP Library and Archives dating back to 1969 will also be made available online.

As a way to lengthen the shelf life of CCP’s live performances, shows will be recorded via high definition coverage. The recorded live shows will then be shown in commercial movie theaters nationwide. The first show in the pipeline is the one-act play from Virgin Labfest 14 titled Mga Eksena sa Buhay ng Kontrabida by Dustin Celestino which was recorded in three-camera setup.

This month, the University Theater Season kicks off with select university-based theater groups showcasing their productions of original Filipino works, adaptations of classics, and experimental work in various CCP venues. The lineup includes performances by Dulaang UP, Tanghalang Ateneo, the DLSU College of St. Benilde, and regional colleges and universities. The season leads up to the 13th International University Theater Association’s (IUTA) Congress and Festival in August.

In February, a brand new venue — the 300-seat Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez (CCP Black Box Theater) — will be inaugurated.

From March 2 to 7, the CCP Jazz Festival will be held in Baguio City and feature local and international jazz performers. The festival includes concerts, fringe performances, pocket performances, master classes, and a musician’s market.

In May, the CCP will launch its first Arts and Social Media Festival, a one-day festival that “locates the dynamic and hyperactive role of social media with regards to arts and culture advocacy.” It will be held in various CCP venues. It aims to provide discussions on issues affecting social media and will feature panel discussions, workshops, performances, a watch party, a gadget market, and a specially commissioned Instagrammable artwork.

Other events this year include The Rainbow LGBTQI Arts: Festival of Arts and Ideas; Tanghalang Pilipino’s (TP) Batang Mujahideen and Lam-Ang, an Ethno-Epic Musical; Triple Threats I to III: The Leading Men of Philippine Musical Theater featuring Markki Stroem, David Ezra, and Arman Ferrer on separate dates; and the community-based theater organization Komedya ng Don Galo’s Senadala at Persyanus: Ang Bagong Mukha ng Moro. Selected shows are part of the 50 Free Shows and 50 Shows for P50 promotion (contact 832-1125; or e-mail contact_us@culturalcenter.gov.ph for details).

Upcoming art exhibitions include: 1986 People Power Revolution — The aftermath from Cultural Center of the Philippines to Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas: The Center in the Midst of Change; Valerio Nofuente and Emmanuel Sanchez Collections: The Banned Library Materials During the Martial Law Era; the launch of the CCP Print Folio: 20/30 I & II: A Limited Edition Print Portfolios in Celebration of the 50th Year Anniversary of CCP; and Cinemalaya Eye Fix.

Finally, a video mapping presentation, done in collaboration with Spinifex Group, a digital agency and production company based in Los Angeles with offices in New York and Sydney, will be mounted at the facade of the CCP in September as part of the celebration’s closing ceremonies. Spinifex’s previous projects include the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

For more information on these shows and others in the CCP 2020 calendar, visit https://systems.culturalcenter.gov.ph/ccp2020season/. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman